Graduation Blues

Let's hear some whining!

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Graduation Blues

Post by Mauveduh » Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:43 am

Here's my latest pet peeve directed at my son's school. He is graduating from 8th grade. He has been banned from all the activities surrounding it because he has too many detentions. He can't go to the school trip, couldn't attend the dance, and about 5 other activities were taken away.

I just recieved a letter yesterday telling me that he could not attend the graduation ceremony because of the detentions. That was when I lost it. I am so angry. Detentions are given for everything such as chewing gum, being late, talking out of turn, etc. My son got 15 of these over the term. He's already been punished for these enough and to take away graduation is just cruel in my opinion. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if he can't go, he feels like a failure. We've already made plans and got his clothes and were counting on it. The graduation is in a few days and they just now told us.

Furthermore, he gets detentions for the most ridiculous things sometimes and is not being allowed to graduate? To top that off, he has circumstances that make many of these things beyond his control. I think it is so inconsiderate when he is not even near the scale of the troublemakers at that school. I have threatened to sue the school because of the horrible treatment he has gotten. This has pushed me over the edge and the days of being accomodating are over.
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Post by webwriter » Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:04 am

You may still have a little time to persuade the guidance counselor who in turn may be able to persuade the principal, and if he/she insists that the ban will stick, then consider going to the Board of Education. If you can get a list of the offenses in writing and if most or all of those offenses are fairly petty, you just may have a case!

I agree that for something like this to happen is a shame. I would like to know what they all have to prove that is so danged important, or earthshaking.

Best of luck to you and your son, and I hope everything turns out o.k.

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Post by maico886 » Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:08 pm

This really pisses me off. There is a big difference in punishing a truly bad kid and just keeping a good kid down who just doesn't conform to some arbitrary code of conduct.
You're right, don't just take it. Make them answer to you. Schools have always been this way. I had many teachers and counselors write me off just because I didn't fit the image of the "good student".
This is a good kid who is being made to suffer because some loser teacher probably has a personal problem with him. They don't take the time to look at the problem, they just react to a situation.

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Post by Mauveduh » Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:46 pm

Yeah, it makes no sense in kicking a kid when they have really tried and it makes them feel like they aren't good enough. I really feel like they don't have a clue at that school, especially in dealing with kids with special needs. I just heard about another parent who is very upset over the school being noncompliant with her daughter. She sued them and won and they still didn't learn. Wow. It's a lot of work to go through that and she doesn't want to go through it again but she is so frustrated that she feels like she should. I don't want to go through it either but I am to the point that I want to hold them accountable at this point. I guess I'm not the only one who feels this way and that gives me more resolve.

I have asked them for accomodation and assistance many times. It falls on deaf ears so I refuse to go beg for them to let him attend graduation. They really don't care, obviously. They know exactly how I feel.

I'm getting a report of all the detentions and circumstances. I don't even care what happened, I don't think they should be kept from attending the ceremony. That is an important milestone and a symbol that work and perserverance pays off. They are ignoring all the progress and only focusing on a few incidences. Who wins in that? I just know that I'm through trying to talk to them. Their ignorance makes it impossible and they should not be running a school, in my opinion.

Whew!! OK. Rant off for now. :-)
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Post by webwriter » Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:58 am

Getting that report will be useful evidence! I don't think anything will be more convincing than a list of petty items. Also, if you can recall those times and dates and what happened, you can develop a corresponding list on paper. And who knows, having such concrete evidence may help turn the tables around, allowing your son to graduate with his class.

My hat is off to you for keeping up your efforts. Persistence will pay off. It sounds like they want to wear you down. But between your evidence and what you say, you just may be able to bring it off and achieve the desired results. Good luck!

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Post by Mauveduh » Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:40 pm

My problem is that I'm not good at keeping records of those things and remembering when things happened. I wish I would have been more on task in that area.

I've always been terrible at that time thing. I'm an idiot savant. I'm good at some things but I don't know when things have happened or even what year. I don't track time. It's all like the same day to me. I guess it's too linear of a concept for me. Maybe I'm in denial and want to deny the passage of time.

I saw a documentary study of the savant condition. That was really interesting. I can't even remember what the savant's forte was, but he was brilliant in that area. They worked on socializing him and teaching him to be self-sufficient and do some household chores. The more they socialized him, the less proficient he became in his talent. I guess it took his incredible focus in another direction.

How did I get on this topic from the what we were talking about? What I meant to say is that I have a terrible memory, and I'm not very good at accessing information when I need it under pressure. But I do have some records scattered about and will need to review them and determine whether I want to pursue this. It would be a monumental task I am sure.
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Post by webwriter » Mon Jun 07, 2004 4:05 am

Even if you can scare up a few items, you will still be ahead. Hearsay won't cut it, but some kind of documentation will.

I forget stuff too, especially relatively unimportant stuff that happened last week. So to help me stay on track with appointments, payments and the like, I jot down a note or two on the corresponding date on the calendar. This serves as a handy reminder and allows me to stay sane. I don't have to go crazy looking for the last post-it note: I just glance at the calendar.

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Post by Mauveduh » Mon Jun 07, 2004 7:57 pm

I live by my calendar too and have those alarms going off all of the time telling me to do things. I end up snoozing them over and over until I've got reminders going off all day long driving me nuts because I have snoozed too many items.

I even get to the point of not reading them so what good are they? They do work sometimes so I will continue.

Here's the update on the school. I got an email that he can participate in graduation now. That's all that was said.

I replied and said that I still want the records of the detentions and to put them in today's mail. I'm not letting them off the hook yet.

I found out that the last detention was because a teacher heard him use a swear word. Well, I don't condone it and he gets consequences. But that really is standard procedure at that school and you will hear those words hundreds of times a day if you listen. That's no reason to keep someone from participating in graduation. Give me a break.

A couple of weeks ago, a kid had him on the ground beating and severely kicking him in the ribs and the head and could have injured him for life or killed him, yet that didn't get him removed from graduation. Go figure.
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Post by webwriter » Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:02 am

Hmmm. You gotta think who is most likely to benefit from a given situation, the perpetrator or the victim, and on whose shoulders the consequences will fall most heavily on. Then there is the whole issue of saving face. I think schools play games all of the time when they can get away with it. If the staff thinks that the result will be too much controversy in and out of school, it will more likely try to work things out. They don't want outsiders squawking too much. My mom used to visit my teachers when she thought that there was a problem. When I was in the seventh grade, for example, the teacher was unable to find out who the culprit was and punished the whole class by making us all copy the dictionary after school! Of course, my mom visited us about 4:15 in the afternoon to find out what was going on and had plenty to say about that. The teacher never made us copy the dictionary again.

Whew, did I get carried away, but back to what you were saying.

I am glad that your son will be able to graduate with his class and applaud your efforts to obtain the documentation regarding the detentions and stuff. The staff at that school will learn its lessons, hopefully. It is only too bad that you had to go through all of that trouble and aggravation. School really sucks.

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Post by Mauveduh » Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:04 pm

Now I found out that they would not give him his yearbook and he missed the day that they all get them signed because they are holding it hostage for a 10.00 art fee that I understood was optional anyway. He had looked forward to that day for a long time and now he lost that too for something that wasn't even in his control. I only heard this because he told me, not because they contacted me.

I paid 40.00 for the book and they won't give it to him because of that 10.00 that I was going to pay even if it was optional but it slipped my mind with everything happening. So they owe me money and will keep it if that teacher doesn't get her money. Now I will have to go to the school to even get it because he isn't allowed to attend school Friday because they go to Marrtiott's for the graduation trip which he was already banned from.

Anyway tomorrow is the big graduation day at the local college. So we will see if he gets a diploma, which I heard they won't get either if everything isn't paid by then. If not, I will have to get on stage and make a public announcement. LOL. We will have a fun day anyway.
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Post by webwriter » Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:45 am

That really sucks! It is aggravating to have to shell out more money and go through so much inconvenience, then wonder if it was all worth it in the end. I know that I would be hopping mad, too.

In spite of these problems, I hope that your son has an opportunity to attend and enjoy graduating with his class.

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Post by Mauveduh » Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:49 am

It was a great day anyway. I had that baggage of the yearbook on top of the graduation fiasco in the back of my mind since it happened and was trying not let it get to me but it was there and I felt a little snarl inside with all of the stress that we have gone through this week when it is supposed to be a special time.

When the procession started and they filed onto the field, that music played and I started getting all choked up. I couldn't believe how emotional it was. That music does someting and it hit me that it was a passage and childhood was gone. And going through that ceremony made him feel so good that I can't imagine how he would have felt if he had not been allowed to participate. The school doesn't know what they are doing to their students with some of those rules.

The funny thing is that I couldn't see him when they filed in and was thinking that they may have pulled him out because of that 10.00 fee. What a thing to have think about. As soon as it was over, I went directly to the shcool and paid it and got his yearbook.

We went to dinner with friends and it was alot of fun. Then later when we finally got home, it was strange. He insisted on putting on these old videos of when he was a toddler that we haven't seen in so many years. I didn't want to watch them since I didn't need another reminder about that childhood passing today. Haha. But we watched them and it was really nice and funny too. I guess he had some sense of that same feeling. It was a really special day. Then he got a phone call and I didn't see him the rest of the night, as usual. LOL
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Post by webwriter » Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:31 am

I am so happy that things worked out for you and your son, Mauveduh. The music played at the graduation ceremonies has the same effect on me to this very day! A few years ago, when I graduated and received my second master's degree (this one in school administration), I took part in the ceremony and marched in line.

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Post by naynay » Fri Jun 11, 2004 5:55 pm

Your right Mauveduh about that Pomp and ? music. (can't recall the whole name there!) I also had a graduation today and the moment that song played and those kids came filing out onto the football field, grinning, so proud, yet so cool...well, I was bawling as well.

Our emotions are who we are and the music really isn't a trick to make you cry, even though it sure works...but actually it is a moment of realization that they are growing up and not children anymore. We feel so proud of them and graduation makes them feel so proud of themselves. Its joy for everyone, laced with a bit of sadness, memories of the past and and maybe anxiousness of the future...all togather.

I looked at my kid and he was just so darn cute, and he is still my baby in so many ways. I could tell by the grin on his face that he could hardly contain his excitement as well as feeling very proud; he had done something good and all these people were there to honor them. Nothing better, and it happens only once at that age.

I am so happy you son was able to graduate as well Mauveduh. After reading your stories, I was so angry for you and felt so bad for your son. I can just imagine what I would do and how I would have felt had the school jerked my kid around like that. Good Lord, doesn't anyone remember what it was like when they were that age? Is everyone so heartless, cold and jaded that they could care less what kind of damage they have the power of inflication on a kid?
These are our Educators? What happened to "If I could just make a difference in just one child's life....blah, blah, blah...

Well, its over and he is on to bigger and BETTER!! Yea, well I am a bit nervous thinking about high school, but let's not worry now. It's SUMMERTIME!!

Bravo to all graduates!!

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Post by Mauveduh » Sat Jun 12, 2004 4:03 pm

Yes, Happy Graduation to all of the graduates out there, both kids and adults. You should all be proud. Congratulations! It's a milestone and a door just opened for you.
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